Any party seeking to import products into the United States should consult with a customs attorney before doing so. Importing products into the United States involves more than finding a shipping company to manage the transport. Under U.S. law, importers are obligated to exercise “reasonable care” with respect to properly classifying the merchandise being imported and paying the applicable import duties. An import attorney can provide importers with the information they need to know to comply with this standard. For instance, an importer seeking to import merchandise duty-free pursuant to a free trade agreement such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”) must ensure that the merchandise is subject to the complex rules of origin contained in that agreement. Furthermore, importers need to prepare and maintain documentation substantiating the duty-free treatment in the event United States Customs and Border Protection seeks information concerning the same.
In addition, a customs lawyer can assist an importer with issues that may arise as a result with United States Customs and Border Protection as a result of the importer’s actions. There are a variety of matters such as requests for information, detentions, seizures, re delivery notices,etc. where an import attorney can assist the importer in making its best case to United States Customs and Border Protection. As a trained litigator arguing cases not only before United States Customs and Border Protection, but before state and federal courts, Coastal Pacific Law attorneys are uniquely qualified, as an import attorney, to research, prepare, and, if need be, argue your case to United States Customs and Border Protection to make sure you have the best possibility of a successful outcome.
If you’re thinking about starting a new import business or have been contacted by United States Customs and Border Protection in connection with your existing import business, please contact Coastal Pacific Law.